Fly the friendly SDSU skies

Laura Lorenz

Laura Lorenz

SDSU has provided a solution to ease the process of traveling to away games for both athletes and fans with charter plane flights.

According to Rob Peterson, assistant athletic director, fans-including parents, alumni, booster club members and students-can purchase tickets to fly with the sports teams.

The department sets up seating on the plane, hotel reservations and transportation arrangements to and from special events that are offered to the teams and traveling fans. These special events include tailgate parties, alumni gatherings and city tours along with tickets to the games. All of these things are included in the airfare price, which can range from $530-$680 per person.

Peterson said that using charter planes to travel back and forth has benefited the sports teams greatly by reducing the stress level often caused by traveling to away games. Flying on the charter planes lets the teams usually leave at about 9 a.m. on Friday mornings and arrive at their destination with plenty of time to thoroughly prepare for the game. They return home at a more agreeable hour when using the charter planes, since the team usually leaves the game shortly after it ends.

“We try to have the athletes back home on Saturday nights so that they can use Sunday to regroup before the start of classes that following Monday. Sometimes that varies, depending on how far away the game is,” Peterson said.

Use of the charter planes has had a great impact on the number of people attending away games, especially games that are a greater distance away, Peterson said.

It has allowed fans to experience new venues in new cities along with the teams, such as Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Peterson said.

The teams also enjoy having the added support from fans since they are playing at some venues for the first time. As many as 20-40 people accompany the sports teams to their destinations each time, and the numbers are increasing, Peterson said.

Some of the places that SDSU teams will be going this year are Cal-Poly and Cal-Davis in California, Hawaii Pacific in Honolulu, New Mexico State, Long Beach State in California, Southern University in Louisiana, University of Colorado and Georgia Southern.

The charter planes have been a success so far, Peterson said.